Wednesday, October 12, 2016

ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines: The African Routes, 1968

Fast-forwarding nearly half a century from the last post, but still considering the long history of
ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines. Here is the carrier at its zenith, a four-continent flag carrier hoisting the socialist banner aloft across the globe. This detail from a route map, from about 1968, shows a dense network fanning out from Prague. While much of the quintessential cities of the earliest route spine remain: Belgrade, Zagreb, Warsaw, Budapest, and many more routes radiate outward from Central Europe. The red lines around Vienna and Bratislava are quite dense, clustering at Athens to continue into Asia.

Across the Mediterranean, there are non-stop flights from Ruznye to Algiers and TunisTripoli. Further east, several lines seem to spread out from Geneva, one of which continues southward to Casablanca and then onward to Dakar and Freetown. In a clear echo of Interflug's West African service featured here last month, it seems the post-colonial promises of realignment prompted a Pan-African operation from Prague. Somewhat confusingly, Monrovia, Liberia, is marked in a red circle, but the routing does not connect it. Perhaps a typo? Perhaps meant to indicate Conakry

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